by AUDREY CREEL / November 14, 2020
©Audrey Creel, 2020 (All rights reserved.)
Dempsey Maney was born in Virginia around 1810.[i] It is uncertain when or how Dempsey arrived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In 1860, only one fifty-year-old male was enslaved by Lewis Maney.[ii] It is probable that this individual is Dempsey Maney, likely enslaved as a farm laborer at the Maney plantation (current day Oaklands Mansion). There is not a female enslaved by Lewis Maney who matches the age of Dempsey’s inferred wife, Betsy. It is likely that Dempsey and his wife were not enslaved by the same person.[iii]
Dempsey Maney was approximately fifty-five-years old at the end of the Civil War.[iv] After the Civil War, it is supposed that Dempsey Maney legally married Betsy Maney, although there is no known marriage record for the two. It also is possible that the two never legally married, a common practice for the formerly enslaved after the war. In 1870, Dempsey and Betsy lived together in Rutherford County with four children: Eli, Ellen, Jo, and Matilda Maney.[v] Dempsey worked as a farm laborer, but it is uncertain for whom he worked.[vi] There are no further records for Dempsey Maney after 1870.
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[i] United States Census, “Maney, Dempey,” 1870 United States Census, 1870, accessed October 23, 2020 from ancestry.com database, https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7163/images/4275524_00217?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=fd5ac67679479fd177b52bc31af2e8de&usePUB=true&_phsrc=Kxs314&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.169921833.882264017.1599938151-1700215809.1599080803&pId=4853330.
[ii] United States Census, “Maney, L.M.,” 1860 United States Census – Slave Schedule, 1860, accessed October 23, 2020 from ancestry.com database, https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7668/images/tnm653_1285-0120?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=47d58cd81497b567753a571c2c7ae787&usePUB=true&_phsrc=Kxs1427&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.240344384.2111514632.1603413495-1700215809.1599080803&pId=92225235.
[iii] United States Census, “Maney, L.M.,” 1860 United States Census – Slave Schedule.
[iv] United States Census, “Maney, Dempey,” 1870 United States Census.
[v] United States Census, “Maney, Dempey,” 1870 United States Census.
[vi] United States Census, “Maney, Dempey,” 1870 United States Census.